According to the Ookla Net Index, the present retail cost of 1 Mbps worth of Internet access capability ranges from $5.27 in the United States to $3.31 in the European Union and $2.68 in Hong Kong. National or regional averages can vary significantly, however.

Even where a national average is $5.27, some locations can have costs as low as $1.77. Denver, Colorado has a typical per-Mbps cost of $3.09, while Denver suburbs have costs lower than that.

In India, a Mbps of capability costs $8.71; in Indonesia $16.69 and in Thailand $2.25.

Though retail prices do not scale linearly at lower speeds, one might roughly argue that 500 kbps of access speed might cost $4.35 in India; $8.34 in Indonesia and $1.12 in Thailand.

One might argue those averages have to be adjusted for the fact that, in many countries, mobile access, which almost always is slower than fixed, is the way most people access the Internet.

Nor are existing prices compelling for potential users who probably cannot afford to spend more than 15 cents a month to 50 cents a month for service.